Today’s Extra: The Holidays and You

The Holidays and You

Dear Ones,

We wish to address your increasing need to live the life you dreamed of – the freedom to be.

Perhaps you believe you continue to follow others, we beg to differ. For you once did so without regard for yourself – or others, at times. Even though you might now function as others want you to, you are internally or externally stating your independence.

Before, you did not consciously know you had a choice for your shoulds were so deeply ingrained.

Your choices are now coming to the forefront with thoughts of, “Do I want to do this or be that?” A new concept for most of you. For your 3D choices were limited to declarations of right actions by your parents, community, country, and global citizenship at that specific time in 3D history.

But now that you are starting to think ‘outside the should box’ about your needs and interests, your life is becoming more difficult. Not because you are wrong to declare yourself a sovereign being, but because you are not functioning as you once did.

Those closest to you are both amazed and enthralled. Even though their response might be anger based on fear, they are also likely beginning to initiate their spark of independence because of you.

The next few days, it will probably seem as if no one is particularly thrilled with your words or actions for they are expecting the being with whom they are familiar. Causing you to question yourself, for you are used to being the ‘nice’ person meshing with society’s flow.

These new, unusual words and deeds of yours might come from deep within you – and surprise you as much as the person with whom you are interacting.

Even though others will marvel at your courage, they will also feel some disdain for that courage because all are supposed to follow the established rules.

Innovators cannot be rule followers.

You are shifting the earth in ways never before attempted. So it is each of you forerunners is an innovator in a different field or area. It is as if you forerunners created a university with millions of program areas.

So it is you will not necessarily find anyone completely compatible with your thoughts or actions. For those of 3D will be amazed, if not angry, at your new-found independence and other forerunners will not be as interested in your area as are you.

Such does not mean you will be isolated, but instead that you have the independence of thought and action cheered on by other forerunners. You will also likely create anger in those fully of 3D, and amazement in those beginning their transition process.

You are not like anyone of earth or the Universes. You are a strong, independent being who willingly accepted this challenge of changing earth from fear to love. Not necessarily an easy task, but a task you accepted with excitement and joy.

For you were tired of fitting within the tight parameters of earth life required lifetime after lifetime to perfect your current skills.

It is as if you, en masse, said to the Universes, “I have fit my square peg in round earth holes far too many times in preparation for this transition. If the transition does not happen in this life, send someone else to perform my tasks.” At that point you and your forerunners were ready.

So it is you are shifting earth from fear to love more rapidly than you envisioned. Even though fear and hate continue to be promoted, fewer and fewer are willing to be part of either.

You believe it is your innate humanity coming to the forefront. Instead, it is your Universal being of love.

Rather than burning you at the stake, imprisoning you, or otherwise ending your actions so fear could dominate the world, others are beginning to follow your forerunner lead.

For all forerunners have been severely punished for love actions in one or more lives. Not because those actions were not right for you, but because those of the earth had not yet completed their fear lessons.

This time is different as those of you daring to peek outside your shoulds are discovering. Those who wish to remain of 3D are fading into the background. And those sparked by your need to be free of all 3D requirements are watching you in awe and amazement with thoughts of “Why do I have to do or be that?”

We stated months ago that your holidays would never be quite the same as in the past. So it is you are discovering what we meant with that statement. For your holidays are now more in line with who you are becoming, instead of who you were – surprising you as much as others.

You have become a beacon of light leading those living in the darkness of fear into the light of self-love. You are exceptional leaders holding your beacon of light higher and higher daily.

Allow new you to shine through your physical being by doing and saying that which feels right, instead of what others expect.

You are new you in all your glory. Allow that to be. So be it.


The Old Farmer’s Almanac: TURKEY TRIVIA



Can turkeys fly? What’s a baby turkey called? Learn the answers to these questions and more, with our turkey trivia!


Why Do Turkeys Gobble?
Only male turkeys, or toms, can gobble, and they mostly do it in the spring and fall. It is a mating call and attracts the hens. Wild turkeys gobble at loud sounds and when they settle in for the night.

Could the Turkey Have Been the National Bird?
Ben Franklin thought the turkey would be a better national symbol than the bald eagle. According to the Franklin Institute, he wrote in a letter to his daughter:

“For my own part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly…like those among men who live by sharping and robbing…he is generally poor, and often very lousy. Besides, he is a rank coward; the little king-bird, not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district…For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours…”

How Much Turkey Does a Person Eat per Year?
The average person in the United States will eat 15 pounds of turkey this year.

What’s That Weird Wobbly Thing on a Turkey’s Neck?
The loose red skin attached to the underside of a turkey’s beak is called a wattle. When the male turkey is excited, especially during mating season, the wattle turns a scarlet red. The fleshy flap of skin that hangs over the gobbler’s beak is called a snood and also turns bright red when the bird is excited. The wobbly little thing on the turkey’s chest is the turkey’s beard and is made up of keratin bristles. Keratin is the same substance that forms hair and horns on other animals.

Is the Turkey Considered a Game Bird?
Yes. In fact, the wild turkey is one of the more difficult game birds to hunt. It won’t be flushed out of the brush with a dog. Instead, hunters must try to attract it with different calls. Even with two seasons a year, only one in six hunters will get a wild turkey.

By the 1930s, almost all of the wild turkeys in the U.S. had been hunted. Today, thanks to conservation programs, there are plenty of wild turkeys—they even invade cities, occasionally!

What is a Baby Turkey Called? And What About Adult Turkeys?
A baby turkey is called a poult, chick, or even turklette. An adult male turkey is called a tom and a female is a hen.

How Big Do Turkeys Get?
The domestic tom can weigh up to 50 pounds, the domestic hen up to 16 pounds. The wild tom can weigh up to 20 pounds, the wild hen up to 12 pounds.

Can Turkeys Fly?
The wild turkey can fly! (It does, however, prefer to walk or run.) The domestic turkey is not an agile flyer, though the bird will perch in trees to stay safe from predators.

How Long do Turkeys Live?
The average life span of a domestic turkey, from birth to freezer, is 26 weeks. During this period of time, it will eat about 75 pounds of turkey feed. The average life span of a wild turkey is three or four years. It generally feeds on seeds, nuts, insects, and berries.

Source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

American Revolution: Major Events 1780

14-15 January: Patriot General William Alexander led 3,000 men across ice to Staten Island, New York, to attack British posts, but enemy was not surprised and Americans withdrew with 17 prisoners and some booty after losing 6 killed and about 500 “slightly frozen” in bitter winter weather.

3 February: British force of 550 from Manhattan attacked a patriot body of 450 at Young’s House (Mt. Pleasant), New York, and after sharp action forced patriots to retreat. The Latter lost 51 killed and wounded, 74 captured; British, 23 killed and wounded.

10-11 February: After a detour to Savannah for repairs and reorganization, Sir Henry Clinton’s southern expedition landed on Simmons Island and began slow but steady movement toward Charleston, South Carolina.

25 February: Congress, because of lack of financial resources, resolved to call upon the states for specific supplies to support the Army and established quotas for each state for the coming campaign.

29 February: Russian issued proclamation of Armed Neutrality containing principles for protection of neutral commerce in wartime, which helped to align European continental nations against Great Britain and led to involvement of The Netherlands as combatant.

14 March: Expedition led by Spanish Louisiana Governor Bernardo de Galvez captured British Fort Charlotte at present Mobile, Alabama, then in West Florida.

1 April: After series of maneuvers placed them in striking distance, British forces under General Clinton began siege of patriot forces under General Lincoln at Charleston.

2 April: Force of Indians and loyalists struck exposed settlement of Harpersfield, New York, killing several of inhabitants and capturing 19.

14 April: British force under Colonel Tarleton made surprise early morning attack on patriot supply depot at Monck’s Corner, South Carolina, guarded by 500 mounted Continentals and militia. Patriots were routed, with 80 or so casualties and loss of 200-400 horses, while British claimed only three casualties; also, this defeat cut last outside link of American force bottled up in Charleston.

24 April: Patriot sortie from Charleston, South Carolina, overran first line of British siege works and inflicted 62 casualties at cost of only three, but Charleston defenders were too weak to make any greater effort toward breakout.

6 May: Patriot cavalry group after capturing 18 British soldiers south of Santee River moved to Lenud’s Ferry, South Carolina, to re-cross river and join larger force of Colonel Abraham Buford. Before smaller force could cross river it was struck in surprise attack by Tarleton’s dragoons, patriots losing more than 100 in killed, wounded, and captured and British few or none.

7 May: Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, guarding entrance to Charleston harbor, captured by British from land side, American garrison of 200 surrendering without firing a shot.

12 May: After six-week siege, British forces totaling 17,200 troops and seamen forced surrender of Charleston, South Carolina, and its garrison of nearly 5,500, about half of them Continentals. During the siege patriot combat losses totaled about 230, British about 265. This surrender was the worst such disaster for the new
United States during Revolution; it was followed by British overrunning of most of South Carolina.

21-27 May: Sir John Johnson led raiding party of 400 other loyalists and 200 Indians from Crown Point to Mohawk Valley where on 22 May it burned Caughnawaga and on 23 May Johnstown, New York, as well as other settlements, slaughtering male inhabitants and on 27 May withdrawing with 40 prisoners.

25 May: At Morristown, New Jersey, two Connecticut regiments prepared to march off and go home without orders, in protest against no pay and short rations for preceding five months. This mutinous conduct, however justified, was suppressed, with some leaders lightly punished; but incident presaged more serious mutinies to come among Continental soldiers on same accounts.

26 May: British expedition of regulars and Indians from Fort Michilimackinac, Michigan, was repulsed in attack on Spanish settlement at St. Louis, Missouri.

29 May: Pursuing Buford’s Continentals northward, Tarleton attacked force nearly twice his number at Waxhaws, South Carolina, and inflicted crushing defeat on only remaining organized patriot body in South Carolina. Tarleton reported his casualties as 19 of 200 engaged, with patriots losing more than 300 of 400 engaged; including ll3 killed in British bayonet attack. Patriots claimed men trying to surrender were bayonetted.

29 May: Loyalist group near Winnsboro, South Carolina, was defeated and dispersed by patriot irregulars, marking beginning of effective patriot resurgence in Carolinas.

7-23 June: British force from Staten Island launched raid toward Morristown because of reported disaffection among Continental troops stationed there; but in engagements on 7 June at Connecticut Farms (now Union), and on 23 June at nearby Springfield, New Jersey, stout American defense turned back British and ended their offensive operations in New Jersey. Casualties in these engagements are uncertain, but British burning of towns involved helped stifle remaining loyalist sentiment in state.

20 June: Premature gathering of loyalists to join planned British invasion of North Carolina was broken up by patriots in bitter fight at Ramsour’s Mill (near modern Lincolnton), North Carolina, each side losing more than 150 in killed and wounded. Result was weak loyalist support of Cornwallis’ invasion when it did occur.

10 July: General Jean Comte de Rochambeau, commanding French army of 5,500 troops, arrived with them at Newport, Rhode Island, under orders to collaborate with Washington under latter’s general direction.

12 July: Patriot militia under Col. Thomas Sumter made surprise dawn attack on larger enemy force including some of Tarleton’s cavalry at Williamson’s Plantation (near present Rock Hill), South Carolina, and inflicted heavy loss at slight cost to attackers.

13 July: Congress unanimously resolved that Major General Horatio Gates of Saratoga fame should take command of the Southern Department and set up a committee of five to plan the defense of that department.

16 July: Near Fisher Summit in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, raiding party of British and Indians surprised Captain William Phillips’ rangers, killed ten and carried Captain Phillips off prisoner to Niagara.

21 July: Washington sent sizeable force under General Wayne to attack loyalist stockaded blockhouse at Bull’s Ferry (present West New York), New Jersey, but Wayne’s cannon were unable to destroy blockhouse, and impetuous and unsuccessful charge cost patriots 15 killed and 49 wounded, loyalist defenders sustaining 21 casualties.

30 July: Patriot force of 600 persuaded loyalist garrison of Fort Anderson (Thicketty Fort), South Carolina (10 miles southeast of Cowpens), to surrender without firing a shot.

1 August: Patriot partisan leader Thomas Sumter with 600 men attacked British fortified position at Rocky Mount, South Carolina; but lacking artillery Sumter could not capture inner circle of fortified houses and gave up after each side suffered about 12 casualties.

1 August: Skirmish at Green Spring, South Carolina, between 210 Tories of Major Ferguson’s command and 196 patriots-a prelude to King’s Mountain. Patriots drove back Tories in brisk 15-minute fire fight in which casualties were proportionately heavy on both sides.

2 August: Party of 500 Indians and loyalists under Joseph Brant attacked settlement of Fort Plank, New York, and although unable to capture fort burned most of Canajoharie settlement buildings and carried off several women and children as prisoners.

3 August: As step in his treasonous negotiations, which began in May 1779, General Benedict Arnold assumed command of post at West Point, New York, and its vicinity with intent of facilitating its capture by British.

6 August: After unsuccessful attack on Rocky Mount, Sumter’s partisans attacked British post about 20 miles to east at Hanging Rock, South Carolina, and in sharp fight defeated its loyalist garrison, defenders losing nearly 200, patriots 53.

8 August: George Rogers Clark leading expedition against British supported Ohio Indians defeated them with heavy loss and destroyed their settlement on Little Miami River.

15 August: Detachment under Sumter’s command captured British post guarding Wateree Ferry, South Carolina, and its garrison of 30, together with a large stock of supplies and wagons enroute to British main force under Cornwallis at nearby Camden.

16 August: In battle seven miles north of Camden, South Carolina, British under Cornwallis annihilated patriot army under General Gates, the most crushing defeat suffered by United States on a major field of battle during Revolution. Only 700 of 4,000 in Gates’ army were able to rally after battle at Hillsboro, North Carolina. Estimates of Americans killed, wounded, and captured approach 2,000; dead included General Kalb. British losses totaled about 325 out of about 2,240 engaged.

18 August: In ambuscade two miles from Musgrove’s Mill, South Carolina, on north bank of Enoree River, patriots inflicted about 225 casualties on attacking loyalist force, with patriot loss of only 12 in killed and wounded.

18 August: Tarleton with 160 dragoons and mounted infantry surprised Sumter’s partisans west of Wateree River at Fishing Creek, South Carolina, at cost of 16 casualties. Tarleton killed 150 patriots, captured 300, and recovered 100 British prisoners and most of booty seized at Wateree Ferry three days earlier.

20 August: Francis Marion, newly commissioned as brigadier general by governor of South Carolina, began his exploits by surprising British guard escorting 150 American prisoners to Charleston at Nelson’s Ferry (Great Savannah) crossing of Santee River, South Carolina, and killing or capturing 24 of enemy as well as releasing patriots.

4 September: General Francis Marion with group of about 50 partisans routed Tory force of 250 men at Blue Savannah, South Carolina.

14-18 September: Patriot militias drove in outposts and captured Forts Cornwallis and Grierson at approaches to Augusta, Georgia, but were unable to take the city by assault and arrival of British reinforcements forced patriots to flee. Action caused new outbreak of Tory vindictiveness in area.

21 September: At Wahab’s Plantation (on west bank of Catawba River about 10 miles southwest of Charlotte), North Carolina, patriot group of 150 surprised 60 loyalists and killed or wounded all of them.

21-25 September: Benedict Arnold and Major John Andre, Adjutant General of the British Army, met in woods on banks of Hudson inside American lines on night of 21-22 September to arrange final details of Arnold’s treason. Circumstances dictated Andre seek to return to British lines overland and he was captured near Tarrytown, 23 September, in disguise and carrying papers containing information on defenses of West Point, Arnold learned of Andre’s capture and escaped to British ship in Hudson on 25 September, just before Washington arrived at his headquarters to uncover the treason. Andre was left to his fate.

26 September: Advancing into North Carolina, Cornwallis occupied Charlotte, but not until after some sharp skirmishing there with patriot militia.

29 September: General Marion with 50 men defeated loyalist body of about same size at Black Mingo Creek (20 miles southwest of Georgetown), South Carolina, with at least 20 of loyalists killed, wounded, or captured.

2 October: Major Andre was hanged as spy at Tappan, New York.

3 October: Congress reduced authorized strength of Continental Army to 58 regiments-49 infantry, 4 artillery, 4 cavalry, 1 artificer-and made other provisions for its organization and state contributions to it.

5 October: Congress approved principles embodied in Russia’s Declaration of Armed Neutrality.

7 October: Patriot force of 900 overwhelmed somewhat larger loyalist force led by British regular Major Patrick Ferguson at King’s Mountain, South Carolina. In this battle, turning point of war in South in patriot favor, patriots lost 28 killed and 64 wounded, enemy losing Major Ferguson and 157 others killed, 163 badly wounded, and another 698 captured.

14 October: At the request of Congress to select a commander to replace Gates as head of the Southern Department, Washington appointed General Nathanael Greene.

15-17 October: Indian-loyalist force led by Sir John Johnson attacked Schoharie Valley of New York, but three forts (Upper, Middle, Lower) held out and principal damage was to houses and crops.

19 October: After passing through Schoharie Valley Johnson’s raiding party moved up north bank of Mohawk River where it was first attacked in front by much smaller force at Fort Keyser, then defeated by patriot force attacking from rear at Kock’s Field, New York (both in Palatine township). At least 40 patriots were killed in first attack and losses in second are uncertain.

26 October: Marion dispersed Tory force assembling near Tearcourt Swamp, South Carolina, in surprise attack. Killed three and wounded 14, captured horses and other booty without loss.

30 October: Congress approved Greene as commander of Southern Army, ordered Henry Lee’s and Stuben’s forces to the south, and assigned all units drawn from Delaware and states southward to the Southern Army.

9 November: Cornwallis sent detachment of 140 to attack Sumter’s militia force of 300, and in surprise (to both sides) early morning meeting at Fishdam Ford, South Carolina, 25 miles northwest of British headquarters at Winnsboro, British were beaten with considerably heavier losses than patriots.

20 November: Tarleton with about 270 dragoons and mounted infantry was defeated by upward of 1,000 militia under Sumter at Blackstocks, South Carolina, on south bank of Tyger River. British lost at least 30 killed and wounded, patriots only eight or nine; but Sumter himself was badly wounded and put out of action for weeks thereafter.

23 November: Force of 80 dismounted Continental dragoons crossed Long Island Sound from Fairfield, Connecticut, then marched across Long Island and attacked loyalist Fort George (near Brookhaven), New York. Patriots lost only one wounded; loyalist seven killed or wounded and about 200 captured who were taken back to Connecticut.

3 December: General Greene took command of Southern Department of Continental Army at Charlotte, North Carolina. His southern “army” then numbered under 2,500, less than half Continentals, and of the whole no more than one-third were properly clothed and equipped.

4 December: At Rudgeley’s Mill, South Carolina, Colonel William Washington’s cavalry used fake cannon to procure surrender of body of over 100 Tories in fortified log barn.

12-13 December: Skirmish at Halfway Swamp, South Carolina, between Marion’s men and British force escorting recruits to Hillsboro with inconclusive results.

20 December: Great Britain declared war on The Netherlands.

28 December: Patriot group of 280 Continental cavalry and mounted militia attacked 250 loyalists at Hammond’s Store (near modern Newberry), South Carolina, killing or wounding 150 and capturing 40, and with related operations discouraged loyalist support of Cornwallis.

30 December: British force of 1,200 under traitor (and now British Brigadier) Benedict Arnold arrived in Hampton Roads to begin raiding expeditions up James River.


SOURCE: War of the American Revolution; BY: Robert W. Coakley & Stetson Conn ( United States Army Center of Military History)
CONTRIBUTOR: Frances Thompson




The American Wild Turkey has become an iconic symbol of Thanksgiving. Perhaps a brief history about our native bird is in order.


  • In the early 1800’s, Alexander Wilson provided so much information on the natural history of the turkey in his encyclopedic American Ornithology that John James Audubon was unable to truly improve on the knowledge of the species in his later book, Birds of America.
  • Benjamin Franklin—commenting on the design of the national seal—disparages the bald eagle, writing that the eagle was “a bird of bad moral character.” When the idea of the turkey is raised, he expresses preference, stating that “the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”


  • The first description of the turkey was written by Oviedo in 1525 in his General and Natural History of the Indies.
  • Domestic turkeys were first raised by Native Americans in Mexico and Central America, who bred them into domestication from a subspecies of the North American wild turkey maybe as early as 25 A.D.
  • Spanish explorers took some of those domesticated turkeys back to Europe around 1519. They spread rapidly among European farmers, and were popular fare among the elites.
  • In 1541, Archbishop Cranmer ordered that large fowl such as cranes, swans and turkeys “should be but one in a dish”. The turkey became a common dish at all festivals in England during the 1500s. They were the usual fare at Christmas Dinner.


  • Turkeys returned to the Americas with English colonists in Virginia and Massachusetts in the early 1600s. Those colonists were surprised to learn that Native Americans were already tapped into the native wild turkeys that had remained part of the American landscape all along.
  • Audubon once had a pet turkey in Henderson, Kentucky that he caught at the age of 2 days old. It became the favorite of the village and followed anyone who called it. At age 2 years it flew off and did not return. A while later, Audubon’s ordered his dog to chase a large gobbler he saw during a walk of 5 miles. The turkey paid no attention to the dog and Audubon realized it was his favorite pet, being unafraid of the dog.


  • Turkeys were numerous in Massachusetts in oak and chestnut forests. From 1711 to 1717, they sold at market for 1 shilling 4 pence, but by 1820 the birds had greatly declined and the price had increased 10 fold. The last turkey was killed in Massachusetts in 1821.
  • During most of the 20th century, Wild Turkeys almost went extinct due to habitat loss. But due to an ambitious relocation program, the Wild Turkey can now be found in large numbers in every state in the US except Alaska.

In New Hampshire, we often see wild turkeys in wooded areas at this time of year, enjoying plant nuts and berries. Cars stop in awe of these beautiful birds meandering through the forest.


The Wild Turkey is a different creature than its factory-farmed cousin found in grocery stores. Domestic turkeys are big business today.

  • Young turkey birds are called poults and an adolescent is called a jake.
  • As soon as 24 hours after hatching a young poult is up and running around in search of food.
  • When a turkey is excited the turkey can change the color of his head to red, pink, white or blue.
  • A wild turkey can run as fast as 25 mile per hour. The domestic turkey has been bred through hundreds of generations to have shorter legs and is much slower on its feet.
  • The wild turkey can fly more than a mile at a time and at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. The domestic turkey has been bred to have outsized, meaty breasts, sacrificing its ability to fly along the way.
  • Wild turkeys are wary and difficult to catch; they also have acute eyesight. Domestic turkeys have no fear of humans.
  • You will find that wild turkeys sleep in trees, roosting high up in the branches every night.

Hope you learned something to talk about at the Thanksgiving table.



Tom Warren has had an interest in birds since the age of 3, when he lived across from the President of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, who showed Tom how to care for injured birds. Later, a neighboring grandmother taught him the songs of warblers and thrushes, and in the eighth grade, his Middle School biology teacher took his class on birding excursions every weekend. Tom has guided bird walks and owl prowls for conservation groups, and has also participated in annual Christmas Bird Counts and the Hawk Watch on Pack Monadnock Mountain. Throughout the years, he has spent time at Pt. Pelee in Ontario observing the spring migration and has traveled to a variety of other migration areas. Tom is also committed to protecting birds and their habitat as a Trustee for both Massachusetts and New Hampshire Audubon, and the Harris Nature Center.

Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac


The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Nov. 21: WHY DO WE EAT TURKEY ON THANKSGIVING?




Why do we eat turkey (well, most of us) on Thanksgiving? It’s a bit of a mystery but it helps if you know a little history of this all-American feast day.

Source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

This Day in History, Nov. 21: First Manned, Untethered Hot Air Balloon Flight (1783)

First Manned, Untethered Hot Air Balloon Flight (1783)

hot air balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft consisting of a bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-altitude balloons, a capsule), which carries passengers and a source of heat, in most cases an open flame caused by burning liquid propane. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the colder air outside the envelope. As with all aircraft, hot air balloons cannot fly beyond the atmosphere. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom, since the air near the bottom of the envelope is at the same pressure as the surrounding air. In modern sport balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the inlet of the balloon (closest to the burner flame) is made from a fire resistant material such as Nomex. Modern balloons have been made in all kinds of shapes, such as rocket ships and the shapes of various commercial products, though the traditional shape is used for most non-commercial, and many commercial, applications.

The hot air balloon is the first successful human-carrying flight technology. The first untethered manned hot air balloon flight was performed by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes on November 21, 1783, in Paris, France,[1] in a balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers.[2] The first hot-air balloon flown in the Americas was launched from the Walnut Street Jail in Philadelphia on January 9, 1793 by the French aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard.[3] Hot air balloons that can be propelled through the air rather than simply drifting with the wind are known as thermal airships.

First manned flight

The French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier developed a hot air balloon in Annonay, Ardeche, France and demonstrated it publicly on September 19, 1783, making an unmanned flight lasting 10 minutes. After experimenting with unmanned balloons and flights with animals, the first balloon flight with humans aboard, a tethered flight, performed on or around October 15, 1783, by Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier who made at least one tethered flight from the yard of the Reveillon workshop in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Later that same day, Pilatre de Rozier became the second human to ascend into the air, reaching an altitude of 26 m (85 ft), the length of the tether.[7][8] The first free flight with human passengers was made a few weeks later, on November 21, 1783.[9] King Louis XVI had originally decreed that condemned criminals would be the first pilots, but de Rozier, along with Marquis François d’Arlandes, petitioned successfully for the honor.[10][11][12] The first military use of a hot air balloon happened in 1794 during the battle of Fleurus, when the French used the balloon l’Entreprenant for observation.[13]


Modern hot air balloons, with an onboard heat source, were developed by Ed Yost, beginning during the 1950s; his work resulted in his first successful flight, on October 22, 1960.[14] The first modern hot air balloon to be made in the United Kingdom (UK) was the Bristol Belle, built in 1967. Presently, hot air balloons are used primarily for recreation. Hot air balloons are able to fly to extremely high altitudes. On November 26, 2005 Vijaypat Singhania set the world altitude record for highest hot air balloon flight, reaching 21,027 m (68,986 ft). He took off from downtown Mumbai, India, and landed 240 km (150 mi) south in Panchale.[15] The previous record of 19,811 m (64,997 ft) had been set by Per Lindstrand on June 6, 1988, in Plano, Texas.

On January 15, 1991, the ‘Virgin Pacific Flyer’ balloon completed the longest flight in a hot air balloon when Per Lindstrand (born in Sweden, but resident in the UK) and Richard Branson of the UK flew 7,671.91 km (4,767.10 mi) from Japan to Northern Canada. With a volume of 74,000 cubic meters (2.6 million cubic feet), the balloon envelope was the largest ever built for a hot air craft. Designed to fly in the trans-oceanic jet streams, the Pacific Flyer recorded the fastest ground speed for a manned balloon at 245 mph (394 km/h). The longest duration record was set by Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, Auguste Piccard’s grandson; and Briton Brian Jones, flying in the Breitling Orbiter 3. It was the first nonstop trip around the world by balloon. The balloon left Château-d’Oex, Switzerland, on March 1, 1999, and landed at 1:02 a.m. on March 21 in the Egyptian desert 300 miles (480 km) south of Cairo. The two men exceeded distance, endurance, and time records, traveling 19 days, 21 hours, and 55 minutes. Steve Fossett, flying solo, exceeded the record for briefest time traveling around the world on 3 July 2002 on his sixth attempt,[16] in 320 h 33 min.[17] Fedor Konyukhov flew solo round the world on his first attempt in a hybrid hot-air/helium balloon from 11 to 23 July 2016[18] for a round-the world time of 272h 11m, as of 17 September 2016 awaiting official confirmation as the new record.[17]



  1. Jump up^ Tom D. Crouch (2008). Lighter Than AirJohns Hopkins University PressISBN978-0-8018-9127-4.
  2. Jump up^ “U.S. Centennial of Flight Commisstion: Early Balloon Flight in Europe”. Archived from the original on 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
  3. Jump up^ Beischer, DE; Fregly, AR (January 1962). “Animals and man in space. A chronology and annotated bibliography through the year 1960”(PDF)US Naval School of Aviation Medicine. ONR TR ACR-64 (AD0272581). Retrieved 2017-07-24 – via Rubicon Foundation.
  4. Jump up^ Deng, Yinke (2005). Ancient Chinese Inventions. Beijing: China Intercontinental Press., cited in Joel Serrão, Dicionário de História de Portugal, Vol III. Porto: Livraria Figueirinhas, 1981, 184–85
  5. Jump up^ Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo. “Cartas Consultas e Mais Obras de Alexandre de Gusmão” (páginas do manuscrito 201-209)
  6. Jump up^ De Gusmão, Bartolomeu. “Reproduction fac-similé d’un dessin à la plume de sa description et de la pétition adressée au Jean V. (de Portugal) en langue latine et en écriture contemporaine (1709) retrouvés récemment dans les archives du Vatican du célèbre aéronef de Bartholomeu Lourenco de Gusmão “l’homme volant” portugais, né au Brésil (1685-1724) précurseur des navigateurs aériens et premier inventeur des aérostats. 1917″.
  7. Jump up^ Glenday, Craig (2013). Guinness world records 2014ISBN978-1-908843-15-9.
  8. Jump up^ Tom D. Crouch (2009). Lighter Than Air
  9. Jump up^ “U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission: Early Balloon Flight in Europe”. Archived from the original on 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
  10. Jump up^ “Start-Flying: History of Balloon Flying”. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  11. Jump up^ “Lighter than air: The Montgolfier Brothers”. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  12. Jump up^ “National Air and Space Museum: Pioneers of Flight gallery”. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  13. Jump up^ “Fleurus (Municipality, Province of Hainaut, Belgium)”. CRW Flags Inc. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  14. Jump up^ Hevesi, Dennis (2007-06-04). “Ed Yost, 87, Father of Modern Hot-Air Ballooning, Dies”The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
  15. Jump up^ “Dr. Vijaypat Singhania enters the Guinness World Records”(PDF). Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  16. Jump up^ Fedor Konyukhov (17 September 2016). “Experience: I flew solo around the world in a hot-air balloon”The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2016. Article by Konyukhov describing the experience.
  17. Jump up to:ab “Balloon World Records”. Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Archived from the original on 8 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016. Steve Fossett and Fedor Konyukhov, both sub-class AM-15.

External links

Inspiration for the Day: Finding Joy in Meaningless Tasks

Finding Joy in Meaningless Tasks


Finding joy and reason in mundane tasks can shift the flow, and make it not so bad after all.

Spending an afternoon working on the car, gardening, or even cleaning the house can be fun when we have an interest in the project. Yet, we can also find joy in the chores and tasks we don’t especially like. All we need is a change of attitude, a different approach, a little music, or some help from friends, and the tasks or responsibilities that we perceive as tedious can become a source of pleasure.

Most of us tend to put off what it is that we don’t want to do. Yet, one of the best approaches to an unpleasant task or dull chore is to dive right in and be fully mindful of what it is that you are doing. You may not perceive washing the kitchen floor as enjoyable, but it can be if you view it as a loving act for both yourself and your family. Lose yourself in paying your bills, and thank the universe that you are able to receive the service you are writing that check for. Mending can become a treasure hunt to find the right button and matching thread. And, each morning, see how neatly you can make your bed and take pride in your results.

Playing your favorite music, dancing while you work, or creating a mental list of everything you are grateful for are just a few ways to turn an unexciting activity into a fun event. Ask a friend to help you clean out the basement or paint a room; provide some yummy snacks as an incentive. Look for joy in doing your mundane activities, and they’ll become a source of enjoyment rather than a tolerable duty.


Source: DailyOM

Could The Thanksgiving Moon Make Your Visit Home More Pleasant?

Could The Thanksgiving Moon Make Your Visit Home More Pleasant?

The full moon may be around the corner (it will reach its peak this Friday at 12:39 a.m. EST), but first there’s one lunar phase and national holiday to get through first. Not only is this Thursday Thanksgiving, it’s also the last night of the month that will see the waxing gibbous moon.
Technically speaking, the moon is considered a waxing gibbous in the days between its first quarter and full phases. Spiritually, it’s associated with growth and personal development, as all waxing phases are. According to astrologer and medium Natalie Kuna’s site, the waxing gibbous moon is a particularly good time to seek out more of what you need in your life, be it good company or wealth.
If you’re dreading spending hours upon hours with your family, the waxing gibbous’ connection to personal development will come in handy. Reflect on what you’d like your relationship with your relatives to look like — then make a plan that will help bring your ideal vision to life. You might not get to that point this year, but, if you practice patience and maintain an open mind now, you just might be on better (or at least easier) terms with your extended family by Thanksgiving 2019. The first step is to identify where you think your relationships can grow then allow the moon’s expansive energy to fuel your generous spirit.
On the other hand, if work and everyday tasks will keep you busy over the holiday, concentrate on what you need more of in your life to feel comfortable. The waxing gibbous moon can be a great time to work toward something intangible yet spiritually satisfying, but it’s also a period in which you can get down to brass tacks and ask yourself how happy you really are in terms of the resources you have access to and the safety net you’ve created for yourself. If you face those difficult questions and realize you could be doing more to make yourself feel comfortable, start drafting a to-do list that will help you reach the level of security that you desire.
Whatever it is that your Thanksgiving will entail, know that leaning into the waxing gibbous moon’s influence may make your life run a little more smoothly. Again, doing so won’t make you accomplish your long-term goals in an instant, but it will get you in a properly positive mindset to tackle your challenges head-on.
Published on Refinery 29